For a small country, Ecuador has a lot of variation in weather, meaning there is no one month that is the ideal time to be in all four regions.
Galapagos Region – year round
The Galapagos Islands sit over 500 miles west of mainland Ecuador, but this archipelago still belongs to the country. The dry season in the Galapagos spans June to December. The air and ocean waters are colder around this time of year, and the seas tend to be rough. The rainy season commences in December and continues until May. Conditions are warm and sunny, with light rain showers on most days. Visitors can enjoy Galapagos wildlife viewing year-round, but each season has its highlights. Sea tortoise and sea lion nesting occurs in the warm rainy season, whereas albatrosses and penguins follow the Humboldt Current to the archipelago in the cold and dry months.
The Andes Region – June to September
The Ecuadorian city of Quito and the surrounding highlands lie along the Andes Mountains. Winter in the Andes lasts from June through September, featuring cool and dry conditions. Winter temperatures hover around 50 degrees Fahrenheit on average. Summer runs from December to March, bringing on slightly warmer temperatures. Summer coincides with the Andean rainy season, so you can expect occasional showers. Altitude plays a major role in influencing the relatively low temperatures in this region. The dry season is the best time of year to visit the Andes of Ecuador.
Pacific Coast Region – December to May
Ecuador’s Pacific Coast rotates between wet and dry seasons. The rainy season spans December through May. High humidity and hot temperatures prevail around this time of year. Surprisingly, the weather is much sunnier during the rainy season, despite the intermittent afternoon showers. This is the best time to visit the beach. Cooler air temperatures appear from June to September, attracting whales and dolphins to the waters along the shore. This period constitutes the dry season, but the skies become overcast and it’s usually to chilly to swim in the ocean.
Oriente Region – August to November
The Oriente sprawls to the east, consisting of tropical rainforests and marshy lowlands. It rains year-round in this region, but the precipitation levels are particularly high between December and April. Visitors will experience drier weather from August to November. As such, this is the best time for jungle treks. Temperatures in the Oriente reach upwards of 90 degrees during the day, so be prepared for sweltering conditions.
Peak Tourist Seasons
The peak tourist seasons in Ecuador coincide with North American and European vacation periods. You can expect larger crowds between June and August as well as December and January. Hotels, flights and tour groups fill up quickly during these months. The Galapagos Islands have limits to the number of visitors, so accommodation here is almost always at a premium.
Ideas by month (click on a month)
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